Joint actuators with a compact size and high power density are necessary for robots with rotating joints, making the hydraulic actuator (HyA) an ideal actuator candidate. This paper presents a joint HyA with the following characteristics: compact installation size of 70 mm × 92.5 mm × 145 mm, low weight of 1.93 kg, high output torque of 742.2 Nm/531.09 Nm in two directions under 210 bar, high torque to weight ratio of 265.5 Nm/kg, low internal leakage of about 9 mL/min, zero external leakage, low starting pressure of 0.26 MPa/0.39 MPa in two directions, and a large rotation angle of 135 degrees. Compared with HyAs that have been applied in robot joints, the HyA proposed in this paper can greatly reduce the joint weight, reduce the joint size, and ensure the control performance of the joint movement.
In addition, a dynamic model of the HyA is established. Based on this, some dynamic design suggestions are given. Furthermore, a simple position and torque control algorithm for the HyA is proposed. Finally, some experiments are carried out to verify the performance of the HyA.